Posts

The Physical Exam as Refuge

The Physical Exam as Refuge

There are few situations where we expect to disrobe and have our bodies touched by relative strangers. Countless times, I have found that it is only during the physical exam that patients reveal what is truly on their mind.

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Evidence-Based Medicine

Evidence-Based Medicine

Evidence-based medicine is a complicated issue. Meant to ensure more rigorous and consistent science in decision-making, it often induces more confusion than clarity. It also means different things to different people.

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The Patient vs The Illness

The Patient vs The Illness

So often in medicine we speak in terms that make it sound like the patient is responsible for the clinical outcomes. If a patient's cancer returns, we often say the patient has “failed” chemotherapy, as though she or he were taking a standardized test and simply didn’t study hard enough. But it is really the…

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History & Physical podcast series

History & Physical podcast series

“History and Physical” is a new blog produced by the fantastic student team that produces the blog “In-Training”. Kevin Wang and Danielle Ofri discuss preserving empathy as a medical student, her career origins and how she started writing, the role of narrative medicine in training, and the rise and consequences of algorithmic medicine in the…

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Missing the Final Act

Missing the Final Act

Diseases, like dramas, have natural progressions. Introductions, backgrounds, developments, climaxes, and dénouements. And each disease of each person has its own singular tempo. Life in a teaching hospital, however, is paced by the hard-edged specificity of the academic calendar.

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Incidental Illness

Incidental Illness

How, in the quiet world of outpatient medicine, does one know when a life is saved? In residency training, saving a life was always dramatic; there were no subtleties to confound. In the outpatient setting it wasn’t clear when I was having any effect on someone’s life, let alone saving it.

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Art and Medicine podcast

Art and Medicine podcast

Kerri Lowe interviews Danielle for Story Shelter. Hear about taking a gamble on Yiddish poets, surviving devastating medical error, offering literature on the eve of 9/11, contemplating why doctors don't always hear their patients, uncovering the many musicians hiding out in hospitals.

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Our Silence Around Dementia

Our Silence Around Dementia

Dementia is not something we doctors talk much about. We all have many patients with dementia — and more every year — but we never seem to chat about it the way we discuss kidney disease or cancer treatment. Why the silence?

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Why Doctors Write

Why Doctors Write

How does writing affect a doctor's practice of medicine? What are the ethics of writing about patients? Should patients be part of the process? Watch the full program broadcast on WGBH -Boston.

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Doctor Priorities vs. Patient Priorities

Doctor Priorities vs. Patient Priorities

The patient cheerfully admitted that he hadn’t been paying attention to his diabetes for the last few years. He’d stopped taking his medicine, stopped seeing his doctors, stopped thinking about the disease altogether. What happens when the patient's priorities and the doctor's priorities conflict?

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